The Haiti Property Law Working Group is made up of more than 300 experts, practitioners, donors and government officials working together to clarify Haiti’s land law in an inclusive and transparent manner. The Group operates under the direction of the HAITI PROPERTY LAW WORKING GROUP Steering Committee composed of Habitat for Humanity and volunteer committee members.
Since its inception in 2011, the Group has continued to add new members and has been meeting on a regular basis to develop strategies, exchange ideas, brainstorm new ones, listen to concerns and identify areas for improvement. The Haiti Property Law Working Group has engaged a broad range of interested professionals, government actors and stakeholders in the process of creating tools and undertaking training to address a range of property law issues. The stakeholder engagement process has been a cornerstone of the Group’s approach to developing the manuals, and ensures not only the accuracy of the work but also the buy-in of key government entities and professional groups in Haiti.
The meetings and subsequent work of the Group have included the research, development and publication of two manuals and related training materials dedicated to land tenure in Haiti: Manual I: The Haiti Land Transaction Manual, Vol 1: A How-To Guide for the Legal Sale of Property in Haiti (2012) and Manual II: Security Land Rights (2014).
Following the publication of the manuals, the focus of the Group shifted to raising awareness and utilization of the manuals across a broad and diverse audience, including rural, urban, literate and illiterate populations. The Group was particularly interested in training university and government staff as essential long-term players in disseminating and incorporating the information into their work.
In 2016, the Haiti Property Law Working Group was hosted by the Inter-American Development Bank to convene its bimestrial meetings on March 31 and June 2. The Group discussed its overall initiatives and results to date; its strategy to raise visibility across Haiti; and its recommendations to the Government of Haiti to support the institutional application of the Group’s findings contained in both manuals.
Meeting discussions are now underway to develop a third manual to further help reform Haiti’s land tenure system.
A third manual could address rental property, land and housing finance, inheritance property rights, urban and rural land planning and various practical property rights issues. In addition, the Haiti Property Law Working Group has proposed workshops and community-based programs to support security of tenure in the context of agricultural development, re-forestation, upgrading of informal settlements, urban and rural land planning and the creation of financing tools for un-banked individuals and communities.
The third manual and programs to apply the tools developed by the Group to solve practical problems have been proposed and will be developed subject to adequate funding. More details will follow as they become available.